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Coffee shop etiquette, pet peeves, and stories

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musenji
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I have recently purchased a laptop, and enjoy going to my local coffee shop and getting a coffee, sitting down and using the free wifi that they provide. Now, technically it's not free because I'm purchasing a coffee. I have wondered whether I am purchasing "enough" to make up for my use of the wifi, but that is not the primary issue, and I'm not seeking advice on that count.

As a result of my wondering, I've read a few blog posts on general coffee shop etiquette. I am interested in reading a variety of opinions on what does or does not constitute proper etiquette in a coffee shop. This does include use of wifi, but is not limited to it. I'm just interested in the perspectives of people here.

And, if you have any pet peeves or funny stories, this is the place to share!

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If the place is full and people are waiting for a table, you should buy generously and you should be at a table for one; alternatively, you should come back when the place is less crowded. If you see empty tables, take your time. One order an hour ought to be enough.

Have you ever run the numbers? Spending $50 a month on home wifi would probably be cheaper. You might save enough in a year to buy an espresso machine.

Edited by Reidy
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Sit-down patrons aren't the coffee shop's only customers, so I wouldn't worry about paying your share.

A coffee shop is an experience. Like my Dad says, it's a cheap date. Shop owners know this, and Starbucks has pretty much set a profitable precedent for them with the hefty markups people are now used to. Drinking coffee while using your laptop (or in my case, phone), is common behavior, expected by both owner and patron. Almost nobody winds up staying for excessive periods of time to the point where there is literally no seat to sit at for hours (creepy youth stalkers are the exception, but are few) -- it works itself out. The point is to establish a relaxing environment for customers to lounge at so that they will come back and do the same thing over and over again.

My only peeve with coffee shops is ordering a cappuccino and getting half a drink and half spongy foam. Take a class or two, people!

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I pay $30 a month for wifi @home. IMO it's much cheaper just to do it from home, unless of course you're looking for a certain ambiance.

*Also I only drink black coffee so I don't know what's involved in any "specialty" coffee-making process, maybe it's easier to let someone else do it?

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My only peeve with coffee shops is ordering a cappuccino and getting half a drink and half spongy foam. Take a class or two, people!

I worked at a Starbucks kiosk, and feel it is my duty to inform you that that IS the recipe for a cappucino in a Starbucks handbook. Cappucinos at Starbucks are, by definition, espresso plus 1/2 the remaining space filled with steamed milk, and the other half filled with foam. What you are looking for is a latte, defined as espresso plus all filled with steamed milk, less a 3/4 inch "cap" of foam.

I only ever had one complaint about the cappucino. Interestingly it was from an African American who probably thought I was being racist and jerking him out of his money, because iirc I told him that was how it was supposed to be, and he left and came back with a very angry Caucasian woman demanding that I remake the drink. I told her that was how it was supposed to be, but okay, I'd remake it. (I would've remade it for him if he'd only asked me. The situation smacked of him bringing her back because "maybe I would listen to a white lady." I hate to think that, by remaking the drink at her demand, I "confirmed" the suspicion.)

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I worked at a Starbucks kiosk, and feel it is my duty to inform you that that IS the recipe for a cappucino in a Starbucks handbook. Cappucinos at Starbucks are, by definition, espresso plus 1/2 the remaining space filled with steamed milk, and the other half filled with foam. What you are looking for is a latte, defined as espresso plus all filled with steamed milk, less a 3/4 inch "cap" of foam.

I only ever had one complaint about the cappucino. Interestingly it was from an African American who probably thought I was being racist and jerking him out of his money, because iirc I told him that was how it was supposed to be, and he left and came back with a very angry Caucasian woman demanding that I remake the drink. I told her that was how it was supposed to be, but okay, I'd remake it. (I would've remade it for him if he'd only asked me. The situation smacked of him bringing her back because "maybe I would listen to a white lady." I hate to think that, by remaking the drink at her demand, I "confirmed" the suspicion.)

Haha! I once feigned fear with the person I was with when a store's power went out for three seconds, only to have a black man give me a horrible, dirty look because he assumed I was making a tasteless racial joke against him. I hadn't even noticed him until he did this, but of course there is no explaining that away with someone who assumes the worst to begin with...

With Starbucks, at least they are honest in their ignorance. A cappuccino does indeed have "foam," but when compared to most American coffee shops, I wouldn't call a proper cappuccino's makeup "foam," because it isn't in the least spongy or even very airy. It is a distinct texture of fineness that is achieved with a specific steaming technique -- which I have unfortunately NOT mastered at home and only get when I travel to specific coffee shops who know what they are doing. Most coffee shops make foam more like that found on Lemon Meringue Pie (or is this just another example of wrongness?) That said, at least Starbuck's roasted beans have greatly improved in the past few years. It must be those slaves they advertise in pictures on their remodeled cafe walls! (Is this imagery obvious to anybody else??)

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